March 2, 2022 - 4:22pm

It has been a week since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and one of many unanswered questions is why Russia has yet to make use of the vast majority of its combat aircraft, despite having a huge advantage over the comparatively small Ukrainian air force. The normal routine of a modern war would be to establish air supremacy in the first few days, but most of Russia’s 300 local fighter jets have not left the ground.

Also, why did both of the most talked about and visible strikes in civilian neighbourhoods (Freedom Square in Kharkiv and the TV Tower in Kyiv) both appear to show near misses?

Could Putin be holding back the full might of his military for tactical or political reasons? Or is this failure to launch a symptom of a crumbling Kremlin war machine?

To seek out some technical answers, Freddie Sayers spoke to Justin Bronk, Research Fellow for Military Airpower at the Royal United Services Institute.